1974 was ground zero for a 7.0 magnitude shaker on the clumsy, kitschy disaster-movie Richter Scale with Universal’s ambitious, tossed-together epic of Los Angeles torn asunder by ‘The Big One.’ The all-star cast headed by Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner slug and mug their way through a gloppy soap opera of a script, admirably retaining their collective dignity. The special effects range from terrific to embarrassing, but the tacky gimmick of “Sensurround” saved Universal’s bacon: to this day I still hear people remembering it fondly. The collector’s edition brings us both the theatrical cut and the brain-numbing extended version cobbled together for TV.



Shout! Factory

1974 / Color / 2:35 widescreen (theatrical), & 1.33 flat full frame (extended TV cut) / 123 + 142 min. / Collector’s Edition Street Date , 2019 / 29.99

Starring: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, Geneviéve Bujold, Richard Roundtree, Marjoe Gortner, Barry Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, Victoria Principal.

Cinematography: Philip Lathrop

Film Editor:
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